17/05/2021   Podebrady (CZE): The fair play of Tur and Ojala towards Agrusti



Rivers of stories have been written about fair play in sport, many in which even in the “little ancient world” of walking.
Those who, like us, are a little ahead in the years will remember what made an era in cycling: it was the year 1952 and on the dusty road of the Col du Télégraph (Galibier) at the Tour de France they passed a bottle of water (but the story then said "water bottle") and the exchange was immortalized by Carlo Martini of Omega Fotocronache immediately becoming one of the most famous of the century.

But the exchange of water in the world of walking is now a common occurrence among athletes.
Yesterday in Podebrady we witnessed the gesture of Maria Perez passing the water to Antonella Palmisano (yesterday's Coppi and Bartali; but we leave it up to you to choose which of the two is either one or the other).
Antonella refreshes herself and then gives back to Maria who throws that little bottle out of the way, which is no longer needed by both of them.
The two look at each other, smile, talk to each other and continue to lives themselves a good thrashing to obtain the much-desired victory.
A little less usual is waiting for the opponent "walker" after the victory.
We remember a wait in 1980 in Moscow when a certain Maurizio waited for a few minutes in spite of the protocols, a certain Giorgio.
But the two had their surname Damilano and they are twins and Maurizio had just won the Olympic Games.
In recent years these gestures in fair play have returned to be part of a beautiful costume.
To begin with were the Orientals:
Rio de Janeiro 2016: historic the curtain between Hirooki Arai and Evan Dunfee (one who in terms of fair play has nothing to learn from anyone)
La Coruna 2019: many times we have seen the winner and the winner hug each other after the finish. But the bow of respect of Toshikazu Yamanishi towards Massimo Stano who replies by bowing us, according to the custom of Japan, deserved at the time the palm of the photo of the day. Precisely for this reason Massimo Stano later fell in love with oriental culture and began studying Japanese.



Doha 2019: Liu Hong waiting for the eternal rival and training partner Qieyang Shenjie and the young Yang Liujing after the hat-trick story to celebrate together the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China is another cross section of oriental fair play.
But in a European Team Championship, in our memory, it had not yet been seen.
And yesterday, at the end of the interminable 50km, which tomorrow we will no longer have, another Spaniard, and a Finnish are the actors ready to honor the respect of the defeated opponent (an Italian), but exultant for his performance.
We managed to capture this moment and we allow ourselves to give a grade (as we did at school) to the three:
Marc Tur (ESP): 10 and praise, for the victory, for the beautiful textbook gear shown, for the distance imposed by the pandemic with the Finn, waiting for over two minutes.
Aleksi Ojala (FIN): 9 for silver, for the result and for defeating the fear of DNF and DQ in past years
Andrea Agrusti (ITA): 9 to him too, for the bronze, for the smashed personal best of over 5 minutes, but above all for humbly listening to the technical advice received in the last year and for putting them into practice.
It is not only the photo of the day, but it is also a lesson in humility from the athlete who believed in his coach.